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MEI Online: General Minerals Engineering: Latest News: September 16th 2003

:: Dome Covered Stockpile Wins Bateman Industrial Project Award  

A highly sensitive ecology motivated Bateman to design a massive dome structure to enclose the circular stockpile at Skorpion Zinc Mine. The mine is situated 140 km south of the nearest tarred road, in the remote southern Namib desert, north west of Rosh Pinah. The dome design has won Bateman the ‘Best Entry’ award in the industrial projects category of the SAISC (Southern African Institute of Steel Construction) Steel Awards 2003, as well as recognition in the engineering machine category.

The 50 000 t ROM stockpile Bateman/Schade circular stacker/reclaimer is totally enclosed within a 93 m diameter by 30 m high dome. The dome covered stacker/reclaimer is unique as it is the first such installation in southern Africa the project was completed during the last quarter of 2002. The dome will prevent stockpile dust contaminating the surroundings, and, to a lesser extent, prevent wind-blown dust from contaminating the stockpile.

Dome covered stockpiles are not uncommon. At first, Bateman looked abroad for solutions, but these proved costly and many required the erection of the dome prior to that of the stacker/reclaimer logistical and project constraints demanded more flexibility. The result was a 100% southern African engineered, detailed, fabricated and erected dome, which was also more cost-effective than internationally sourced domes.

Local structural steel forms the bulk of both the stacker/reclaimer system and the dome. Around 195 t and 300 t of steelwork were used during fabrication respectively, while 11 300 m2 of sheeting cover the dome.

The remoteness of the site necessitated for large sections of the stacker/reclaimer to be prefabricated and transported to site for erection, with minimal sub assembly occurring on site. The largest prefabricated section was approximately 45 m long, 2.5 m deep and 2 m wide. It was critical that the stacker/reclaimer was erected before any work on the dome began.

Erection of the dome was no mean feat as the structure would only self-support once the final structural elements were in place. Thus, consideration of the dome’s erection formed a significant part of its engineering. Temporary support was required during support. Bateman utilised the stacker/reclaimer centre column and tower to provide support, thereby reducing the requirement for additional support structures. Erection of the dome was without incident, due to computer-orientated steelwork detailing and trial assembly in the workshop prior to transportation to site.



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